Phil Mickelson talks about gambling addiction: ‘I’ve crossed the line’

Phil Mickelson said in a lengthy post on social media that he will not be betting on football this season, addressing his gambling problems and gambling addiction.

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Phil Mickelson took to social media on Monday to discuss his gambling addiction, but also warned others about the damage it can cause.

Mickelson, in identical positions to his two Twitter and Instagramsaid he would not bet on football this season as he had previously crossed the line of moderation and fallen into addiction.

The six-time major champion’s post was 412 words long and in it he explained how his addiction spiraled out of control, the importance of a strong support system and the crucial role his wife Amy played in helping him.

Mickelson has long been considered a great sports gambler, but only recently have figures emerged about how much he supposedly played.

Last year, Alan Shipnuck’s biography of Mickelson reported that he lost more than $40 million gambling between 2010 and 2014. A month after this excerpt was published, Mickelson said Sports Illustrated his gambling had become “reckless and embarrassing.”

“It has affected those I care about in ways I wasn’t aware of or couldn’t fully understand,” Mickelson said in his post Monday. “It’s like there’s a hurricane outside and I’m sitting isolated in a shelter, oblivious to what’s happening. When I came out there was so much damage to clean up that I just wanted to go back in and not deal with it.”

But the most recent and perhaps most shocking news involving Mickelson’s gambling came last month. An excerpt from Billy Walters’ new book Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk, published on Golf DigestWalters, a former gambling partner of Mickelson, claimed the three-time Masters winner lost nearly $100 million and bet over $1 billion over the past 30 years.

Ryder Cup rookie Phil Mickelson with US captain Lanny Wadkins during the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill

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Walters also alleged that Mickelson attempted to place a $400,000 bet on the U.S. team winning the 2012 Ryder Cup, of which Mickelson was a member. (Mickelson said on Twitter that he “never bet on the Ryder Cup.”)

Although Mickelson didn’t mention Walters by name in his post Monday, he said it’s important to “never confuse trailblazers with friends like I did.”

“Hopefully you don’t have to deal with these difficult moments publicly so that others like me can benefit from you,” he wrote. “But hopefully you have a strong and supportive partner who is willing to help you be your worst self and get through your worst moments, like I experienced with Amy. She loved me and supported me through my darkest and most difficult times. I wouldn’t have gotten through this without her. I am so grateful for her strength in helping us overcome the many challenges I created for us. Thanks to their love, support and commitment, I am back on the path to being the person I want to be.”

“After many years of receiving professional help, not gambling, and recovering from addiction, I can now sit still, be present in the moment, and live each day with inner calm and peace,” he continued. “I still have a lot of cleaning up to do with those I love the most, but I’m doing it slowly and as best I can. This football season and beyond, enjoy moderation so your ability to be present is not compromised. In my experience, the moments with the people you love will be remembered far more than any bet won or fantasy league triumph.”

You can read Mickelson’s full post below.


Josh Berhow Publisher

Josh Berhow is managing editor at The Minnesota native graduated from Minnesota State University in Mankato with a degree in journalism. You can reach him at Phil Mickelson talks about gambling addiction: ‘I’ve crossed the line’

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